As my writing network widens, I come across authors that find their books have gone to print with some very obvious editing or formatting errors. When I ask them if they noticed the mistakes in their final galleys, some respond with, “I trusted the editors. I mean, that’s what they do, right? They edit for a living so they must know more about it than I do.” Upon further questioning, some of those never even played an active part in the editing process. They simply changed what the editor suggested and sent it back. Or worse yet, was never given the opportunity to participate.
- Have a publisher that tells you to just trust them concerning edits
- Only send galleys for you to look over and no edit sessions
- Never received your galleys
- Are told your changes won’t be made once it goes to galley point
- Are told all books have mistakes so no corrections will be made if found in galleys
Stay away—far, far, away from those publishers! Check with Preditors and Editors before you ever submit to a publisher. Red flags are noted there. Listen to them.
You have a right to see that your book is the best it can possibly be. I know we as writers want to trust our publishers and those assigned to help us polish our manuscripts and make them print ready. But, my friends, our books are ours. We spend hours, months, sometimes years preparing these works. I won't mention names here, but it’s sad to say that there are some publishers out there that simply run a manuscript through a Word editor and call it edited…never even read the story.
Now, I’m in no way putting down editors on the whole. I simply want writers to realize that as authors of our books, we need to play an active part in the editing process—from creation to finalizing. And that means carefully reading over each edit session, pointing out things you find, and working with your editor on it, right down to your last chance to make sure it’s as good as you know how to make it…the galleys. Sometimes formatting gets messed up when it’s adapted for print. Don't be shy. Point it out.
Of course, some things might slip through, no matter how many eyes try to catch everything. In my book Cornerstone Deep, instead of a “chill” running up Cole’s back, a “child” did. Lol. That manuscript had been read over countless times by critiques, betas, editors, and myself. It took a friend that read the book, after it was in print several months, to point it out to me. We had a big laugh at that one.
Okay. I think my edits rant is done. *big blush* I feel for those authors that put all that work into their stories and end up with a product that reflects badly on the publisher they went with and on them. Being an author encompasses so much more than just writing a book.
Have you run across books that stand out in such a way? Have you run across authors that have had to learn the hard way that a close eye is needed in the production of their books? Were you one of those authors? What was your experience of the matter?